Enhancing Revenue Streams and Efficiency in Law Enforcement with Online Auctions

Enhancing Revenue Streams and Efficiency in Law Enforcement with Online Auctions


Returned to city


Man Hours Saved

37,500 lbs

CO2 eliminated


As law enforcement agencies face budget constraints and operational challenges, they are always looking for new and innovative solutions to optimize their resources and increase their revenue streams. The police department of Barbourville, a historically significant city in southern Kentucky, faced various challenges within its surplus management program. The city wanted to make changes to overcome these challenges and generate additional revenue from its valuable inventory.

Multiple Challenges:

Low Bidder Turnout: The traditional live auctions that many local law enforcement agencies still conduct limit the potential buyer pool. These types of sales are primarily restricted to the local population surrounding the auction location who can take time off work to attend an auction.

Below Average Sales: Due to the limited bidder turnout, many auctions often resulted in low final bids below Kelley Blue Book (KBB) values, leading to significantly reduced returns for Barbourville.

Effective Inventory Management: When the inventory was declared surplus, it often sat idle until the next auction, causing the equipment to lose value as well as creating overcrowded storage areas.

Despite the challenges, Barbourville remained committed to finding effective solutions and improving its surplus management program to better serve the community and maintain public safety.

A Sustainable Solution:

To address these challenges, the city transitioned from traditional live auctions to an online auction platform. By partnering with GovDeals, the leading online government surplus auction platform, Barbourville aimed to broaden its reach, streamline the auction process, and maximize revenue potential from the surplus inventory. This strategic approach allowed them to overcome these challenges and achieve their goals.

Overall, the transition to the online auction platform was a smart move that enabled Barbourville to enhance its auctioning process and drive better results:

  • Expand the city’s potential buyer pool: Barbourville has attracted a diverse range of buyers from across North America, helping to drive up competition and final sales prices.
  • Increase efficiency in surplus management: with an integrated backend program, Barbourville personnel can review available inventory, answer bidder questions, and run reports to keep track of where inventory is within their surplus cycle.
  • Reduce idle inventory: with built-in catalog features, Barbourville reduces the administrative burden of surplus while also alleviating idle inventory and overcrowding in storage rooms, freeing up valuable space for essential operations.

The increased bidder turnout and competitive bidding resulted in Barbourville receiving higher returns on their surplus assets than previously possible through traditional live auctions. This steady revenue stream has provided much-needed financial support, helping to reduce maintenance costs and fund new equipment.

“We sell all of our surplus items here, and most of them are very new, within 3 or 4 years, unless they are seized items. With the wide array of bidders, it helps us bring in more money for the items, and in turn, we buy new equipment. This keeps our maintenance costs low and helps us maintain our reputation.”

 – Chief Winston Tye of Barbourville, KY

More Sales Methods. Higher Recovery.